of Environment and Planning
of Main Roads
Sydney Council Inquiry
from EIS (p. 107)
- Rail plays a vital role in Sydney's
public transport system which operates effectively in carrying the
majority of peak hour passengers to the city centre. With the Tunnel
built, a very small number of passengers may change from rail to road.
During off-peak periods, and to other destinations, car and bus transport
carry the majority of passengers and any transfer to or from public
transport is less likely.
- Since 1976, bus patronage has remained
stable, whilst ferry patronage has increased significantly. With increased
reliability in timetabling due to the effect of the Tunnel, the opportunity
will exist to attract an increase in bus patronage across the Bridge.
The Tunnel will provide the opportunity for the traffic authorities
to introduce peak period transit lanes across the Bridge, further
enhancing the reliability of bus timetables and reducing bus travel
Department of Environment and
Planning (pp. 20, 43)
It has been a longstanding Sydney Metropolitan
planning policy to encourage the use of public transport, particularly
in areas well served by public transport. The modal split for work trips
to the City is about 80 per cent by public transport and 20 per cent
by car in the a.m. peak. This modal split is the result of a combination
of a number of factors: the CBD is the most accessible location on the
public transport system; there is a constraint on parking; and a constraint
imposed by congestion.
Planning policies related to public
transport for the Sydney CBD focus on encouraging development within
walking distance of the railway stations, improving the public transport
system, and limiting the availability of parking. The Tunnel would work
against the desired effect of planning policies by encouraging more
cars in the City during peak period, putting more pressure on the provision
of car parking, and putting more pressure for development of the fringe
areas of the CBD, which are not as accessible by public transport. It
is likely to also decrease public transport patronage. Similar public
transport objectives apply to North Shore centres.
In sum, the Tunnel proposal does not
advance the objective of promoting public transport and in all likelihood
will work against this objective.
...The EIS states that there may be
an increase in time savings on buses because of less congestion on the
Harbour Crossing. However the traffic analysis demonstrates that congestion
would occur at other points, therefore negating possible time savings
on the crossing.
Department of Main Roads (pp.
The primary factors which determine
travel mode choice are car availability and ease of parking at the destination.
Of secondary importance in mode choice are the network parameters, that
is, vehicle travel time, public transport travel time, fare levels,
service levels on competing modes and so on.
Increasing car ownership and the availability
of parking have resulted in increasing car usage and reduced public
transport patronage. This includes public transport patronage to the
Sydney CBD which declined by 14 per cent between 1971 and 1981.
The number of car parking spaces in
the Sydney CBD will increase by 50 percent as the result of already
planned developments. These spaces will be used by commuters and other
motorists from all destinations. This will have an effect on public
transport patronage regardless of whether North Shore motorists experience
delays on the Bridge or reduced delays on the Bridge/Tunnel.
Secondly, the promotion of jobs in the
Sydney/CBD North Sydney discussed previously will also promote the use
of public transport. Seventy five percent of peak period trips to the
Sydney CBD are by public transport; fifty percent to North Sydney are
by public transport. In contrast, if these jobs were to relocate to
regional centres, only 15-30 percent would be by public transport.
Finally, the Tunnel, by providing a
new route and easing congestion on the Harbour Bridge, will improve
public bus services to and from the City from the north.
North Sydney Council Inquiry
Put simply, public transport is useful
where reasonably large numbers of people want to go in essentially the
same direction at essentially the same time. When a city is densely
developed, then the above situation tends to apply, because the relatively
tall buildings bring a lot of people together. Once the density of development
and activity reaches a certain level, it becomes, for all practical
purposes, impossible to cater effectively for transport in and out of
such areas by depending on private vehicles. If one attempts to do so,
one is faced with very large areas of land devoted to roads and parking,
as well as pollution and a generally unpleasant environment for pedestrians.
Such a situation has been reached in the Sydney and North Sydney CBD's.
The Harbour Tunnel is related to this
issue because it improves access to the the CBD by car, and also because
it provides, at very great expense, an augmentation to the road network
in the inner areas of Sydney, areas in which attempts to implement transport
solutions based on the private car are doomed to failure.
Cameron McNamara, Sydney Harbour
Tunnel: Environmental Impact Statement, Transfield-Kumagai Joint
Venture, November 1986.
Department of Environment and Planning,
Proposed Sydney Harbour Tunnel: Environmental Impact Assessment,
Department of Main Roads, Sydney
Harbour Tunnel: Report on Environmental Impact Assessment, DMR,
Enersol Consulting Engineers, Sydney
Harbour Tunnel Inquiry, Vols I & II, North Sydney Municipal
Council, February 1989.